A Jones County High School student accused of threatening to bring a gun to school was arrested Friday afternoon.
Austin Miller, 17, is charged with making terroristic threats, according to a Facebook post by Jones County Sheriff Butch Reece. Miller allegedly made the remark after an argument with another student earlier this week.
Rumors about the alleged threat were rampant on social media on Thursday, but they were “blown out of proportion,” Maj. Earl Humphries told The Telegraph early Friday.
Chief Deputy Barbara Burnett said Miller was taken into custody Thursday night. No weapons were found in a search of his house, so he was released.
Patrol cars were parked outside of the schools Friday morning, and Miller was taken back into custody. More than 20 people were interviewed before his arrest, the news release said.
“We had to actually get the facts before we could charge him,” Burnett said. “Just the fact of the statement, we wasn’t going to take it lightly. We were trying to be more proactive. We didn’t want to wait and see if he was going to go through with something.”
Additional charges are possible. A first appearance hearing for Miller is set for Monday, Burnett said.
“We are still dealing with this,” she said. “We’re still receiving cell phones and looking for stuff. You know, it went crazy on social media, but there obviously was messages and posts that led up to that.”
The sheriff said deputies worked all night investigating whether Miller intended to follow through with his remarks.
“Remarks of this nature will not be taken lightly. Anyone that makes remarks such as this will be held accountable,” the sheriff said. “Parents please talk to your kids, and take it serious if they tell you they have heard something of this nature and report it to law enforcement so that we can be proactive and keep our kids safe.”
Telegraph writer Liz Fabian contributed to this report.